Seven Helpful Work/Learn From Home Productivity Tips

Suddenly shifting from an on-site to online classes or work set-up can initially feel like a brand new frontier of adventure. That’s why if you’re not used to it, you can expect to feel disoriented—don’t worry, this is completely normal.

Soon enough, you will get the hang of it. And with states and counties mandating their citizens to stay put in their homes in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, you should. It’s great that you can enjoy the comforts of your home more, but don’t let it derail your productivity.

Here are some helpful tips you can do to make sure you don’t drop the ball while working/studying (WFH) from home.

Set a schedule—and stick to it

Many WFH newbies almost immediately fall into this trap of unbridled freedom. An oxymoron, yes we know. How is it a trap when you’re free, right? Well, the thing is that WFH set-ups are double-edged swords.

On one hand, you’re free to work according to your own pace and time. On the other hand, you’re free to work according to your own pace and time. So if you feel like you don’t need to meet a deadline because you’re at home anyway, and you can dilly-dally as you please, you’re not going to get it done. Or at least not on time.

Setting a schedule is crucial to keeping you focused on the things you have to do. Sure, you may not feel the time pressure as much, precisely because you’re in the most relaxing environment: your own space. But keeping the schedule keeps you and your level of productivity in check.

Of course, setting a schedule is just one half of the tip. It’s not going to work unless you stick to it.

Have a To-Do and Accomplished Items list

Related to the first tip above, maintaining a To-Do list also helps you keep accountable for your responsibilities. Your follow-through action for this one is more tangible, however, because then you’re going to check off the accomplished items from your list.

Give it a try, and you’ll see just how rewarding it feels to actually complete the tasks you set out to do for the day.

Have a dedicated workspace

It’s been proven in psychology that your immediate surroundings do affect your disposition and mindset. Applying that to a WFH scenario, you’re less likely to be in the mood to do actual work if your space isn’t set up for it.

We’re not saying splurge on a brand new home office. Rather, have a dedicated workspace that will be free from distractions, and designed specifically for your work or school activity.  It has to be conducive to the work that you will be doing, so feel free to curate it with items that will encourage your productivity.

On the other hand, if you work better with decluttered space, then make sure you keep your workspace clear of any items you would consider distraction or clutter.

Apart from putting you in the right mood, having a dedicated workspace also helps fortify your WFH routine (remember the “Set a schedule and stick to it” bit above? It’s only a couple of items above, come on!)

Especially in a situation where you are going to be working from home for a prolonged period, it would be very helpful for you to have a workflow ingrained in your system.

Keep in touch

You may be working or learning individually, but this doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. There are plenty of online apps and platforms that you can use to keep in touch with your colleagues, classmates, and professors.

Keeping in touch and interacting with them remains crucial, especially if peer and mentor critiques play a huge role in your work process.

Academy of Art University, for example, has a system in place that allows students to immediately transition from on-site to online classes. Students can interact with fellow students and their instructors, and also be able to submit their requirements online. It sure comes in handy in a time like this.


Set guidelines for co-living space

Assuming that your accommodations are not entirely your own, it is important that you talk to your housemates about your WFH arrangements. Co-living can be fun, but it can also pose certain challenges, particularly in shared or common areas.

If it’s not possible to isolate your dedicated workspace, and thus will have to use a common living space, then work out a system with your housemates. Let them know about your schedule (again with the very first item on the list), so that they can be mindful of it as well.

Schedule breaks

That’s right, again with the schedule. Taking breaks are important so that you don’t get burned out too quick, too soon with your tasks. But also, you don’t want to do this randomly, because then you might end up taking it when you can, for as long as you can.

Schedule a break just enough so that you can refresh your eyes, so to speak. Step away from your computer, get some fresh air, or fuel up with a mid-day snack.

Do not multitask

Sure, some people consider this to be their superpower. However, this is not super ideal in work from home scenarios. If you’re on your work schedule, don’t squeeze in a trip to the grocery or doing your laundry, or changing your sheets, or whatever other random activity you may come up with, just because you own your time.

These will certainly disrupt your set schedule, and affect your To-Do and Accomplished Items list, thereby compromising your overall productivity. See how the tips are all connected?

These tips are just a few of the things that can help ensure your productivity while you work or learn from home. There are plenty more out there, for sure. What’s important is that you find a system that works best for you, and don’t drop the ball.

Academy of Art University utilizes an online learning portal so that students can complete their course even from online. Get in touch with our admissions representatives to request information on our online classes for each of our art and design programs. Apply now if you’re ready to join our art school community.

Hero image from